OBJECTIVES: The brainstem nucleus of the solitary tract (nucleus tractus solitarii, NTS) is a pivotal region for regulating the set-point of arterial pressure, the mechanisms of which are not fully understood. Based on evidence that the NTS exhibits O2-sensing mechanisms, we examined whether a localized disturbance of blood supply, resulting in hypoxia in the NTS, would lead to an acute increase in arterial pressure. METHODS: Male Wistar rats were used. Cardiovascular parameters were measured before and after specific branches of superficial dorsal medullary veins were occluded; we assumed these were drainage vessels from the NTS and would produce stagnant hypoxia. Hypoxyprobe-1, a marker for detecting cellular hypoxia in the post-mortem tissue, was used to reveal whether vessel occlusion induced hypoxia within the NTS. RESULTS: Following vessel occlusion, blood flow in the dorsal surface of the medulla oblongata including the NTS region showed an approximately 60% decrease and was associated with hypoxia in neurons located predominantly in the caudal part of the NTS as revealed using hypoxyprobe-1. Arterial pressure increased and this response was pronounced significantly in both magnitude and duration when baroreceptor reflex afferents were sectioned. CONCLUSION: These results suggest that localized hypoxia in the NTS increases arterial pressure. We suggest this represents a protective mechanism whereby the elevated systemic pressure is a compensatory mechanism to enhance cerebral perfusion. Whether this physiological mechanism has any relevance to neurogenic hypertension is discussed.
|Translated title of the contribution||Acute reductions in blood flow restricted to the dorsomedial medulla induce a pressor response in rats|
|Journal||Journal of Hypertension|
|Publication status||Published - 2011|